Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Making Art and Helping Our Aging Parents

I'm not sure exactly how these two topics are going to merge, but I think they might.

 I spent one evening with my paints and canvases all over my kitchen table and counters, exploring myself and my process.  This is not usually a comfortable process as most artists know.  I can say this because I found confirmation that I am not alone in this recently in my local Barnes and Noble searching for inspiration.  I found it in the form of a book entitled "Art & fear - Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking," by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking: Bayles, David and Orland, Ted

It felt like one of those strokes of divine and magical inspiration when it landed in my hands... on the artistic struggle.

I was feeling sad when I left her yesterday.  I felt like she is going down hill.  She was lying on the sofa when we got there.  She has been lying down several times lately when we got there.  I don't think I ever remember seeing her lie down during the day.  I have often been over in the last few months and she would be sitting on the sofa sleeping, but never lying down.  She says she falls asleep every time she sits down.  My son agrees.  She has lost 9 pounds since she got sick. I cried on the way home, and voiced my concerns to my coworkers today, and asked them to pray for her and by the time we spoke around noon (mom and I), she sounded like her old self.  She said she had eaten, and wasn't satisfied and had eaten more.  She slept good all night long and didn't even hear her alarm.  She really sounded wonderful.  So, I guess maybe she'll be okay, for a while longer.  Although she'll probably have some bad days before she's really "back."  And, yes, I know she won't ever really be "back." 

I'm really going to have a bad time with this.  We have had some terrible times, but we've also had some good ones.  She is very important to me, probably too much so, I know.  She's going to leave a big hole in my life.  She has helped me raise my son and I couldn't have done it without her. I wish I could have healed faster.  I never felt like enough: mature enough, responsible enough, whatever, fill in the blank, and not because I haven't tried.  I've come to believe I really have done the best I could.  I love her very much, even though I also can't stand her a lot of the time. 

All this, with the knowledge that she could possibly outlive us all. 

Sometimes I think I'm PMS, even though I haven't had a period in at least 12 years.  This might be one of those blogs I should only send to myself. I'm working on letting myself be more vulnerable, transparent, and communicative.  So, here I am, in a puddle.

Please don't feel like you need to even respond, it just feels good to know you're there, reading.  And, I hope it doesn't upset you. I know we are "supposed" to be a light and uplift... maybe that's where the art comes in.  This weekend will be my second "Whole-Hearted Art" workshop for Cancer survivors.  I'm thinking we should do a workshop for Life Survivors... for those of us who are still here. 

So, we sit at a table and make art out of books and magazines that were destined for recycling.  Kind of the way we are making art out of lives that are destined for ... light?

Soul Food Workshop Win! Yay me!

I'm posting this because it's been sooooooo loooooong since I won anything, let alone something I wanted... well.  My luck has changed.  Sweet! More about the upcoming workshop here

This one of Mystele's.  Isn't it beautiful!  I can't wait. 

The First Whole-Hearted Art Workshop Follow-Up

Time for reflection, follow up, decompression.  It was #1... the first of it's kind-by-me, Whole-Hearted Art workshop.

First, I must admit to some pretty uncomfortable feelings.  (Is it a southern-thing to use the word "pretty" to mean a certain quantity or type of something?)  I was humbled by the burden and pain several of the Cancer survivors/attendees were dealing with, maybe all of them, but a couple shared some details that would have put the average person in the dirt.  These women were no average people.  The strength and determination, and heart of the human being is so blinking enormous.  I'm in awe.  I don't know what I may have been able to offer them that will help, I introduced them to what I know, which seemed to pale in comparison to what they were dealing with.  What they gave me was huge.  They showed up, they jumped in, they made a page or a spread in an altered book.  They began, probably their first, art journal.

I realized later, I could have given better art instruction.  I really wanted to share Real Love with them, so I focused mainly on communicating some basics about that.  I can also see now that I was too focused on what I was trying to say, and not really connecting as much as I'd have like with each person.

So, maybe going forward, I'd like to read some from the Real Love books, in a more comfortable setting, like a living room set up... big comfy couches and a comfortable floor to sit on, and later move more into tables set up for art for the altered books.  I intend to do some follow up this week, in order to really connect with the women who were there, and get there take on whether they'd be interested in more information and/or more art workshops.

So, all in all, I guess it was a success.  I did it.  I faced my fears.  I started with an idea and followed through.  I realized my fears, flaws and shortcomings.  I appreciate my own relatively pain-free, healthy existence.  I appreciate the burdens that others are carrying.  More and more daily, I guess I'm believing that we really don't know what others around us are going through, you can't judge a book by it's cover.  I guess that would be a good analogy to pursue, altering books, like our lives are altered, making conscious choices what to cover with gesso, and what to write in them.  What catchy slogans and quotes motivate us to go on when the going gets tough... what inspires us.  How do we become the person we want to be, the one we came here to become, the one that got squashed growing up.  Who are we?  Who do we want to be?  Do we really all just want to be loved?  Do we even recognize it when it's there right in front of us?  Lots of questions.  The answers, hopefully, are in the journey.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

For Cancer Survivors Workshop

What on earth qualifies me to think I can conduct a workshop with cancer survivors???!!!

I'm not one myself.
I'm neither a therapist nor a counselor in the strictest sense of the terms.

I do, however, have some qualifications:

I'm a survivor.  Period.
I’m a survivor of a great number of soul-sucking trials in life.
I survived my childhood and the myriad stupid mistakes I've since added to all that trauma.
I was fortunate enough to meet someone like myself who'd been hurt, lived to tell about it, and, better yet, figured out a way to help me and others like us.
I've been applying the principles I've been taught for over 17 years now with incredible success.
I've become very close to many others with various traumas and backgrounds who have done the same thing.
I have come to understand that although the pain of cancer and other medical conditions, is indeed horrible, the pain of unmet emotional needs is even worse.
Our needs may be met, after which the emotional wounds heal, and this allows the other pains to be lessened also.
Much research has been done that shows that the more loved and peaceful we are, the better we thrive in every way.
Lastly, but most importantly, I have a desire to share these principles and to show others how to live lives filled with joy.


I leave people with not only a personal experience of feeling unconditionally loved, but resources such as free conference calls daily and group meetings, and a community of hundreds of others worldwide who are learning to be loving.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Fitting Farewell and Tribute to Pappy

In one of my last posts, I referred to a friend at work who had asked me to paint a portrait of the family pet who had recently departed and left a big hole (mostly in the husband's lap).  It was my first attempt at painting a dog, so I don't think it's wonderful by any means, but she seemed satisfied with it.  I will post the final pic, and then the different stages it went through, just in case any of my artist friends are perusing.

His mom and dad love flying, and that's their plane in the sky.  I worked from a photo, and added one of his favorite balls, and the little collar/tie.  I'm really glad I had the opportunity to do this for my friend and her husband, it was very challenging and a lot of fun! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Perking... creating vision! It's always about C O L O U R !!

Well.  Every time I step out and move in the direction of my dreams, I get scared and run. and hide. And don't come out for the longest time.  This. Has. Got. To. Stop.  Or I'll run out of time.

Have you ever felt that way?  I'm not sure exactly what the damper is.  Maybe my dream isn't clear enough.  Maybe I haven't tried hard enough to conquer my stumbling blocks.  I am, however, moved in this moment to at least write about it.  Maybe if I just write about it, clarity will come.

Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 6.14.03 PM

I am SOOOO grateful to my mentors, who may or may not even know they are my mentors... I believe I have mentioned Flora before.  Flora Bowley.  She just rocks.  This blog just inspired me to blog again... to breath new life into my dreams.  And, 

About Deb Cleveland

My sweet friend, Deb Cleveland, Real Estate Investing Guru, AND, artist-with-colour-extraordinaire, is always about living the Dream. 

So, for today, working on clarity, and, The Dream.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Whole-Hearted Art Workshop Coming to Rome, Georgia

Some dreams come true quickly, others take time.  My childhood dream was to live life to its fullest.  I guess I will only have realized that or not, at the end of it.  But, as I walk along my path, sometimes I feel like I'm on track, sometimes not so much.

Seeing the photo of myself, taken by my son, paintbrush in hand, on the flyer for my workshop, was a jolt.  But, as I've been counseled:  It isn't about me.  It's about service.  It's about me being there for others.  As long as I focus on loving and serving I will be led and guided: inspired.

The idea for this workshop has been "perking" for several years now.  It is a form of "paying it forward."  If you have read any of my other blog posts, you already know about Greg and Donna Baer, and Real Love. You can learn more about Real Love at  Greg says that "we" in the Real Love community know more about love than most people on the planet, and doesn't mean that in any kind of arrogant way.  We know what Real Love is and more importantly, what it isn't.  So, even though I am far, very far, from being perfectly loving, I know enough to pass the information on, and hopefully, the love, too.

"As we move through our lives, it’s inevitable we will experience pain and find ourselves in painful situations. There are principles that will help us to heal. Most of us have never experienced the kind of love we all need. This workshop will not only introduce you to the principles, but also to the love, unconditional love, that you need. Combined with art, journalling, movement… you will take home not only a large, mixed media work of art symbolizing your journey, but an art journal for future use, the tools you need to move through your life more peacefully and happily, AND, a network of real friends to share your path with! Everything is included in the price of $165."

It will be this coming weekend, Friday, January 11, 2013, from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, January 12, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:15 p.m.  If you are in the Rome, Georgia area, I hope you will consider attending, for your happiness, and for the happiness of all those around you.